The incidence of mesenteric vascular occlusion is fortunately low. Authors report it as being 0.087% of all hospital admissions and 0.24%, 0.04%, and 0.10% of surgical admissions.1-3 Usually the superior mesenteric vessels are those involved, and usually the occlusion is arterial rather than venous.1 Venous occlusion is more rare and more frequently responsible for reversible changes in the bowel. Diagnosis, often difficult, may be greatly aided by certain roentgenographic evidence. It is the purpose of this paper to demonstrate and discuss what appears to us to be a remarkable case of thrombosis of the veins of the middle colic system with complete spontaneous subsidence.
Etiology and Clinical Diagnosis
Mesenteric venous occlusion is always thrombotic 4 in contrast to arterial occlusion, which is frequently embolic. Johnson and Baggenstoss, in reviewing 99 postmortem cases, found peritonitis, neoplasm, and abdominal surgery as the three most frequent causes.5 Except for postsplenectomy